Get to know Bobbi !
Bobbi emphasizes how a respectful and open work environment strengthens a sense of belonging.
What is your name and what do you do at Springer Nature?
I'm Parvathi (Bobbi) Patham, Discovery & Discovery Services Manager at Springer Nature, where I manage relationships with third-party vendors, oversee metadata, and ensure compliance with standards and formats. I also participate in national & international library conferences, and serve as a representative for Springer Nature.
What does DEI mean to you and why is this topic important to you?
DEI holds significant personal importance for me, particularly in the context of the workplace. Inclusivity and having a voice in discussions and decisions, are fundamental aspects of DEI that resonate with my own personal history, and I feel very fortunate to be part of an organization that highly values promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
What does DEI mean in the work environment and why is it so important?
It has been my experience that individuals with valuable knowledge and ideas often hesitate to share them due to various factors, including concerns about NOT being heard or valued. This is where DEI initiatives play a vital role, by actively identifying and engaging individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Springer Nature can ensure that many ideas and concerns are brought to the table. This inclusive approach cultivates innovation and nurtures an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and creates company loyalty on the part of employees.
What helped you to arrive at Springer Nature and feel comfortable?
In 2017 I joined Springer Nature via an established publishing recruiting agency but it was Springer Nature that played the most significant role in helping me feel comfortable in my new position. The diverse and inclusive environment that I experienced made me feel personally connected within the company. Springer Nature’s global presence has allowed me to interact with individuals from various cultural backgrounds and countries, fostering a sense of unity and acceptance within the company. My time at Springer Nature has undeniably been a transformative experience, profoundly influencing my perspective in meaningful ways.
How do you experience cooperation and interactions with each other?
I have great confidence in my interactions with colleagues, being part of a global organization has broadened my perspective. In my own experience I’ve felt included, respected and warmly welcomed, which has allowed me to see the world more optimistically.
How important is the support from colleagues and superiors?
The importance of support from both colleagues and superiors in my role cannot be emphasized enough. This support is essential given my multifaceted responsibilities which involve close collaboration with various departments. It has been crucial in overcoming any initial apprehensions about connecting with unfamiliar colleagues, and gaining a deeper understanding of their backgrounds and cultures.
Who empowers you?
I was born in the southern region of India, and three individuals who have greatly inspired and empowered me are my parents and renowned poet and freedom fighter Bharathiyar. From a young age, my father R.K. Sankaranarayanan instilled in me a strong sense of the importance of equality and fairness, while my mother S. Saraswathy played a pivotal role in empowering all the women in the early period of my life.
Bharathiyar believed that educating women was essential for the progress of society and wrote many poems encouraging women's education. He called for ending gender discrimination and urged women to assert their independence and freedom. Bharathiyar's progressive writings have continued to inspire generations of women in India to pursue education, social reform, and leadership roles. His messages of empowerment and equality have resonated with women from all walks of life, and he has inspired me in many ways.
How do you experience the DEI culture at Springer Nature?
Over the past few years, the company has promoted and embedded a DEI culture at all levels. A total of eight DEI employee networks have been established within Springer Nature to bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds. I am a member of two of these Employee Networks which has caused me to gain valuable insights from my peers.
What does your company do to promote diversity?
Springer Nature is proactively advancing diversity on multiple fronts, actively recruiting individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds, hosting speaker series which address DEI topics, and has formed eight individual employee networks. This encourages and engages employees resulting positive outcomes, and a profound sense of inclusion among colleagues. It has been my experience that many individuals struggle with a lack of empathy and understanding due to the fact that they not have personally experienced it.
What do you wish for the future in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion?
My hope for the future is a world where diversity, equity, and inclusion are universal ideals, a reality that everyone experiences. I can envision a future where we all live in a more equitable and fair society, recognizing that all human beings are equal. In recent years, society has made significant strides in this direction, and I aspire for even more substantial progress in the coming years.
Why is it so important that your company addresses the issue of inclusion in the workplace?
It is imperative for Springer Nature to prioritize the issue of workplace inclusion, because it creates an environment where every individual can truly thrive, knowing they are respected and that their voices resonate. By championing active participation and embracing diverse viewpoints, we unlock the potential for groundbreaking and creative solutions to problems.
As an immigrant, I initially grappled with feelings of shyness and discomfort, however I have recognized the incredible strength and advantage that comes from my diverse background, encompassing multiple languages and cultures. What I once saw as potential weaknesses have evolved into powerful assets that contribute to my personal and professional growth. I feel that everyone should feel free to voice their concerns without hesitation or fear of judgment.
"Let's unite and amplify the message of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)." – Parvathi (Bobbi) Patham.